History plays an essential role in the shaping and transformation in our everyday lives. It tells about one’s existence, or helps in tracing back to past events to lead to be. A comparable example would be of an individual trying to trace back to his/her great grandparents generations ago, to their existence today. In the art culture, that exact principle is followed, and is led by patrons who then paved the way to the ever transforming landscape. A patron is a person who supports with money or gifts. Prior to the modern era of artists, a patron is said to be someone who usually entered into a contract with someone for a specific service or product that he/she would like. On the other hand, patronage is associated with the act of giving approval, support or endorsement towards a cause or event. Two patrons that I have identified are Pablo Picaso and Jeff Koons.
Pablo Picaso (25 October, 1881 – 8 April, 1973) is recognized as one of the most influential and recognized figures of the 20th century due to his contributions to art. He was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer to name a few. Born in Spain, he studied from his father who was also an artist, professor at the school of fine arts, and curator for the museum in Malaga. Pablo had moved to Paris in 1901, where he practiced new styles and experiment with a variety of art forms. Through this period is where he began his work in surrealism and cubism(objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form depicting the subject from various viewpoints) style which he was the founder of. He was also linked to the co-invention of collage. Many of his later famous pieces has derived from this practice.
His works are categorized into periods from the Blue Period, the rose period, African influenced style and realism, as he was seen as an artist who was constantly updating his styles.He was seen as a pioneer in each of these movements, and as such, had influenced the styles to follow. He is recognized as the world’s most prolific painter over a 78 year career period. During this time, he created 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engraving, and 34,000 illustrations used in books. In addition, he had produced 300 sculptures and ceramic pieces.
His pieces and works was ranked as the most expensive art works to be created, with that of Garson a la Pipe which was sold in 2004 for a price tag of $104 million. Through his rich contribution to the art industry through his various influential styles and founded movements, he had created and donated a 50-foot sculpture to the people of Chicago, which is honoured as the Chicago Picaso. He is throughout the world in many ways, such as on a stamp of the Soviet Union and Museu Picasso(Picasso Museum) in Barcelona, Spain.
Jeff Koons emerged as an American artist in the 1980s being known for using everyday objects in special installations that touched on consumerism and human experience. This simply means that he used “ready-made” or “found” objects and used his own characteristic material transformations of everyday consumer objects into works of art. As such, most of his art makes use of manufactured commercial products, where he decontextualized them, and raise the objects to the aesthetic and intellectual level. He studied art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and Chicago’s School of the Art Institute. After graduation he moved to New York City, and obtained his first job selling memberships at the Museum of Modern Art, and then later was a commodities broker on Wall Street. However, in the 1980s he gave that up and began making art full-time.
He worked in series, most notably a series called The New(1980-83) which included commercial vacuum cleaners and floor polishers, Equilibrium Series(1985) which consists of cast bronze flotation devices and basketballs suspended in fluid, and lastly, his Made in Heaven Series(1990-91) that consisted of a group of erotic paintings and sculptures. His work is shown in major galleries and institutions throughout the world. One such is a major exhibition organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective(June 27- October 19, 2014), which travelled to the Centre Pompidou Paris(November 26, 2014 – April 27, 2015), and other parts Europe. He has also received many awards and honours in recognition of his cultural achievements, notably the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Distinguished Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.